Welcome to the Animal Services Division!

Tulare County Animal Services Offering 500 Free Microchips to County Residents

Microchipping animals provides a greater ability to reunite pets with owners and decrease the number of animals coming into shelters. Tulare County recently revised its Animal Ordinances effective as of June 1, 2019. These revised ordinances approved by the Board of Supervisors require all dogs in the unincorporated areas of Tulare County to be implanted with a microchip and the information provided to Tulare County Animal Services.

To help county residents comply with this new requirement, Tulare County Animal Services will be giving away 500 free microchips to Tulare County residents during the month of June. Microchip vouchers can be obtained on our website and will be available until they run out; a counter will indicate how many microchips are left. There is no per person limit, but they are reserved for owned dogs.  A photo ID is necessary to verify residency when bringing dogs to the shelter for microchipping. Dogs must be able to be handled, so no aggressive dogs will be eligible.


A microchip is one of the best ways to protect your dog or cat if it gets lost. This tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, is implanted under the skin at the shoulder blades; it cannot be lost, worn out, or removed. If your pet ever gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or a veterinary clinic, the animal will be scanned to see if he or she is microchipped. If so, the identification number appears, and the pet’s owner can be found, because the number is linked to their information in a database.

Spay/Neuter Assistance for Owned Pets in Tulare County

Tulare County Animal Services has received a $28,687 grant from PetSmart Charities®, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, to help fuel its spay and neuter efforts in Tulare County. With the help of the grant, Tulare County Animal Services is offering spay and neuter assistance for owned pets in Tulare County.

Click here to download the Press Release

Click here to download the fillable spay/neuter request form

Completed forms can be emailed to tcanimalservices@tularehhsa.org, faxed to (559) 713-3716, dropped off at our shelter, or mailed to Tulare County Animal Services, 14131 Avenue 256, Visalia, CA  93292.

Changes to Tulare County Animal Ordinances

Tulare County Animal Services strives to improve the safety and quality of life for the animals and residents of Tulare County. Therefore, to clarify and enhance the ordinances, revisions were approved by the Board of Supervisors at its April 30 meeting. Community members in the unincorporated areas of Tulare County are affected by the changes.

“This has been a three-year process in collaboration with the Animal Services Advisory Committee and the Ordinance and Standards Review Ad Hoc Committee, with review of industry best practices and extensive research and review from the County Counsel's office, culminating in meetings with community stakeholders and the public,” says Animal Services Division Director Patrick Hamblin. “Changes to the ordinances continue to bring Tulare County Animal Services in line with other forward-thinking counties and the state of California."

The Animal Services Advisory Committee has been integral to the proposed changes. Public meetings held last fall and public comment through our website resulted in additional revisions to the ordinances.

Key changes include:

  • Addition of commercial kennel and rescue organization minimum standards
  • Expands definitions with a change to define adult dogs as being nine (9) months or older
  • Requires all dogs to be implanted with a microchip and the information provided to Animal Services, to have a greater ability to reunite pets with owners and decrease impounded animals
  • All dogs to be spayed or neutered by six (6) months of age
    • Exceptions include police dogs, licensed unaltered dogs, dogs to whom this would be detrimental (with written veterinarian allowance), and those whose owners apply for an unaltered license
  • Implementing a maximum number of dogs for kennel permit holders
  • Limiting the number of breeder permits issued to commercial breeders and kennel operations
    • Individuals would have an allowance of one permit per household
  • To promote responsible pet ownership through the kennel and breeder process, a violations process has been proposed for kennel operators and for individuals without a kennel permit
  • Live animals may not be sold, bartered, gifted, or transferred at swap meets within county jurisdictions

The ordinance revisions expand definitions to create clarity, acknowledge the county’s pet overpopulation issue, and maintain the commitment to the mission, vision, and values for both the Animal Care and Adoptions facility operations and the Animal Control function.

About Us

Tulare County Animal Services Division strives to improve the safety and quality of life for the animals and residents in the unincorporated areas of Tulare County by focusing on:

  • Ensuring public safety
  • Responsible pet ownership and reducing the dangers and nuisances caused by irresponsible pet owners
  • Protecting pets from abuse, neglect, and homelessness through education and enforcement of laws, codes, and regulations related to animals
  • The humane care and treatment of animals
  • Care, sheltering, and adoption services for stray, sick, or injured, abandoned, and surrendered animals
  • Responding to emergencies and investigating reports including dog bites, vicious animals, animal abuse and neglect, and public complaints
  • Reducing animal overpopulation by promoting and providing spay/neutering services
  • Dog and kennel licensing services
  • Microchipping services

Animals under the care and custody of the Tulare County Animal Services Division are sheltered at the County’s Animal Care and Adoptions facility. The facility has indoor/outdoor kennel runs for dogs, a combined cat room and outdoor cattery, and spaces for non-domestic animals and livestock.

Shelter hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Closed Sundays and Holidays.

Pet of the Week

Feature Story

               Pets and Heat

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but hot weather can prove dangerous. Dogs are not good at keeping themselves cool, so providing protection for our pets in hot weather is critical.


Heatstroke is a serious problem for pets. Heatstroke occurs when the body’s temperature exceeds a healthy range, and it can be fatal. Seek emergency veterinary care if you observe any of these signs:

  • Anxiousness
  • Excessive panting
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Unsteadiness
  • Glassy eyes
  • Abnormal gum and tongue color
  • Collapse

Death Trap

We hear about tragedies when babies are left in vehicles on hot days, but heatstroke, brain damage, and even death is far more common with pets left in hot cars. Even a few minutes in a car on a hot day (even with the windows cracked) can be deadly. Research shows that the interior temperature can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, even on cooler days. On a 90-degree day, the inside temperature can reach a sweltering 125 degrees in a half hour.

Pets can’t perspire like humans to cool themselves off via evaporation, so they must pant to cool themselves. If the air is too hot, then panting has little cooling effect, and the dog quickly overheats.

It’s also a bad idea to let your dog ride in an open pickup truck in hot weather, since truck beds are often dark colors, which get very hot.

The Long, Hot Summer: Cooling Tips

Outside Pets

  • Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun
  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.
  • If your dogs stay outside during the day, make sure they don’t tip over their water bowl.
  • Even dogs that are used to being outside can suffer during hot weather. If a severe heat advisory is issued, it is a good idea to bring them indoors. If your dog cannot be brought indoors, a ventilated or air-conditioned garage or other structure may provide enough shelter in some cases.
  • Kiddie pools are a nice way to give dogs a cool dip.

Inside Pets

  • Pets that spend most of the summer inside are generally protected, but when temperatures outside get hot, inside temperatures can, too.
  • Some pet owners shut off fans and air conditioning when they leave for the day to reduce energy costs. Instead of turning off the A/C, try just leaving it on a conservative but comfortable setting (perhaps mid-70s).
  • Close curtains to reduce sunlight’s heating effects.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of fresh water in a shaded spot, since sun coming through a window can heat a bowl of water, and most pets won’t drink hot water, no matter how thirsty they are.

Outside Activities

  • Don’t walk, run, or hike with a dog during the hottest parts of the day; do so in the morning or evening when its cooler. Take frequent breaks, and bring water along.
  • Avoid hot surfaces, like asphalt, that can burn your pet’s paws. Before taking your dog for a walk, check the ground for hotness with one of your own hands or bare feet. If you can’t keep your hand (or foot) on the ground for more than three seconds, it’s probably too hot to walk your furry friend.

Hair and Heat

Grooming dogs can help keep them comfortable as the heat rises, but never shave your dog—the layers of a dog’s coat protect the dog from overheating and sunburn. Dogs with bald patches, short coats, close cuts, or Nordic breeds, who are prone to auto-immune–related sun diseases, may need protection from the sun. However, be sure that any sunscreen you use is labeled specifically for pets. White cats can get sunburned if they lie in the sun too long, even if they stay indoors. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.

Risky Business

Remember that younger, older, overweight, or thick-coated pets, and those with health issues are more likely to become dehydrated or ill from heat exposure. Short-nosed animals (such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pekingese, Boxers, Shih Tzu’s, French Bulldogs, and Persian cats) are less tolerant of heat and are especially at risk of overheating. You should keep a close eye on your pet when it’s hot, no matter what breed, age, or state of health.

A little empathy goes a long way to protect our pets in summer. If it’s too hot for us to stay comfortable in the car, in the yard, or on a walk, it’s even hotter for our furry friends. Our pets rely on us to protect them and keep them comfortable and safe, all year round!